Aus dollar falls below 92 cents

The Australian dollar is continuing to sink, opening a shade above 92 US cents for the first time since early September 2010 as global equities plummet.

The Australian dollar is continuing to sink, opening a shade above 92 US cents for the first time since early September 2010 as global equities plummet.

At 0902 AEST, the local unit was trading at 92.07 US cents, down from 92.29 cents on Thursday.

In offshore trade, the currency fell to as low as 91.74 US cents.

The domestic currency fell as US stocks plunged in the wake of the US Federal Reserve signalling it could start cutting back its stimulus measures before the end of the year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 2.34% while the broad-based S&P 500 lost 2.50%, following heavy drops on Asian and European share markets.

US Fed chairman Ben Bernanke sparked the sell-off with suggestions the US central bank could wind up its $US85 billion-a-month stimulus program by mid-2014.

The Australian dollar took another hit from an HSBC report showing a worsening slowdown in Chinese manufacturing.